Kandya Obezo-Casseres

Kandya Obezo-Casseres

PhD Candidate

Department of Social Policy

Connect with me

English, Spanish
Key Expertise
Race, Ethnicity, Cultural diversity, NGOs, Collective action, Human rights

About me

Research topic:

Cultural policies on ethno-racial minority groups in Colombia 

Kandya is a PhD candidate in Social Policy, funded by the LSE PhD Studentship. She was born and raised in Cartagena, Colombia, and completed an M.A. in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University on a Fulbright scholarship in 2017. She also holds an M.A. in Development and Culture from Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar (2013) and a bachelor's degree in Communications from Universidad de Cartagena (2009). 

Kandya has 10 years of work experience. Prior to starting her doctoral research at LSE, she worked with the Cartagena Chamber of Commerce as Head of Entrepreneurship and Cultural Affairs. She was also Deputy Director of Education and Participation in Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. In her position at the Ministry, she was responsible for the Ministry’s social policy and had the opportunity to work with ethnic communities, youth, and women’s organizations across the country. Prior to that, she worked as a researcher in a think-tank that provides research-based evidence to guide local and regional government policies. 

Kandya has also taught an undergraduate seminar on Latin American social movements, Indigenous and black movements in the department of Political Science and International Relations at Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar. Since the age of seventeen, she has been working with grassroots organizations advocating for the rights of women and young people from Indigenous and Afro-Colombian backgrounds, particularly in her own community, San Basilio de Palenque. 

Research interests 

Kandya's research focuses on the limits of development policies to address the inequality and exclusion of ethnic minority groups. Her doctoral research aims to explore how Afro-Colombian groups adopt, adapt and challenge cultural policies and heritage recognitions produced internationally to achieve local cultural and political participation. 

Methodologically Kandya is particularly interested in qualitative analysis, and she looks forward to conducting fieldwork in San Basilio de Palenque, an Afro-Colombian community founded by maroons in the 16th century and declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2005. 

Her additional lines of inquiry include conflict resolution, human rights and peace processes in Colombia, as well as social innovation, entrepreneurship, and cultural development.  She is also a member of the International Inequalities Institute Doctoral Programme and the Colombian Society at LSE. 

Supervisors : Dr Armine Ishkanian and Dr Robtel Pailey 

Expertise Details

Race; Ethnicity; Cultural diversity; NGOs; Collective action; Human rights; Social inclusion; Inequality in Latin America